A critical role for dermal mast cells in cis-urocanic acid-induced systemic suppression of contact hypersensitivity responses in mice

Prue H. Hart, Michele A. Grimbaldeston, Georgina J. Swift, Emma K. Hosszu, John J. Finlay-Jones

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies have implicated cis-urocanic acid (cis-UCA) in UVB-induced immunomodulation. The strongest evidence came from studies in mice whereby a cis-UCA antibody blocked UVB-induced suppression of delayed-type hypersensitivity responses. Furthermore, in several studies, the cis-UCA antibody at least partially reversed UVB suppression of contact hypersensitivity responses. Previous reports suggested that cis-UCA was immunomodulatory through its effects on keratinocytes, Langerhans cells, fibroblasts, T lymphocytes, natural killer cells and monocytes/macrophages. As dermal mast cells were recently demonstrated to be critical to UVB-induced systemic suppression of certain delayed-type and contact hypersensitivity responses, we investigated whether they were involved in the processes by which cis-UCA was immunomodulatory. Not only was there a correlation between dermal mast cell prevalence and the degree of susceptibility of different strains of mice to the immunomodulatory effects of cis-UCA, there was also a functional link. Mast cell-depleted Wf/Wf mice were rendered susceptible to immunomodulation by cis-UCA injected subcutaneously only after their dorsal skin had been reconstituted with bone marrow-derived mast cell precursors. These studies suggest that mast cells are critical to the processes by which cis-UCA suppresses systemic contact hypersensitivity responses to the hapten, trinitrochlorobenzene, in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-812
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes


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